Sessions 2015


[See sessions for this year’s conference.]

Session descriptions for Y’all Connect 2015:

Becoming Deeply Connected to Your Online Fans and Friends

Shaun KingShaun King: Always in pursuit of more followers and fans, we make an enormous strategic error when we fail to develop deep connections with the supporters we already have.

In this workshop, Shaun will share practical strategies and tips on how you can dive deeper on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in order to make lasting connections that will eventually increase the chances of success across several metrics. Yes, go far and wide, but don’t be shallow.

• 10:15 a.m., Room C

Best Practices for Building Relationships with Bloggers

Stacey FergusonStacey Ferguson: The end game for both brands and bloggers is to develop a trusted, long-term and fruitful relationship with one another. What does that mean for each party? What are the secrets for achieving those goals?

This session with veteran blogger and influencer marketing network leader Stacey Ferguson will cover best practices.


  • effective strategies for outreach and contract negotiation;
  • how to collaborate on campaigns to ensure maximum ROI;
  • the Top 3 Don’ts when working with bloggers;
  • the differences between editorial coverage and advertising coverage;
  • and examples of mutually successful campaigns.

• 1:45 p.m., Room C

CEO to CEO: Real Collaboration in the Social Space

Wendy LeaWendy Lea: Social media should not be viewed solely as a marketing tactic. CEOs of the 21st century must use social channels for building business, including acquiring customers, retaining them and engaging employees.

Wendy Lea shows fellow leaders that in the collaborative economy, it’s all about connected people and connected businesses. How can CEOs leverage social media to move ahead?

• 3:30 p.m., Room C

How Social Serves Strategy When Disaster Strikes

Ike PigottIke Pigott: Alabama’s deadly tornado outbreak of 2011 impacted most of the state, with more than 60 confirmed twisters touching down. More than a half-million customers were affected, and Alabama Power’s grid suffered unprecedented damage. Find out how social media tools blended into existing crisis communications strategy to inform the public during a time of need — and how you can graft social tools into your own strategies.

• 1:45 p.m., Main Ballroom

How to Create Clickable Content Without Selling Your Soul

David GrinerDavid Griner: Effective, attention-grabbing headlines don’t have to be clickbait nonsense or inscrutable SEO garbage. We’re living in a golden age of shareable content. Strong storytelling and intelligent writing are more appreciated (and vital) than ever.

David Griner, digital managing editor of, will share some tips that have helped his site’s readership and social media engagement explode in recent years. The veteran presenter and digital strategist will walk attendees through tangible, practical tips that can help any publisher, personality or marketer better connect with the right audience.

• 3:30 p.m., Main Ballroom

How to Keep Your Contest From Becoming a Trial

Kerry O'Shea GorgoneKerry O’Shea Gorgone: Contests and giveaways are popular tactics for building your audience, but if you don’t know the risks, your fun social media contest could turn into a trial! In this session, we’ll uncover the legal pitfalls and discuss ways to minimize these risks.

• 3:30 p.m., Room A

Innovation and Change in Social Media

Kary DelariaKary Delaria: If social media has one constant, it’s change. What works one day is never guaranteed to work the next.

This presentation will take a look at how some organizations are embracing innovation in the space and demonstrate ways that evolving tools and technology continue to change how we manage, plan and execute social media strategy.

• 10:15 a.m., Main Ballroom

Making Better Content Decisions

Laura CreekmoreLaura Creekmore: Content strategy requires us to make a lot of decisions — and we make those decisions in many different ways. We’re using heuristics, usability testing, editorial and design training and — God help us — our gut instincts. We often have a clash when explaining our thinking to the business side, whether in an agency-client relationship or in a corporate setting. It turns out that business people make decisions, too — and they don’t always understand how we think.

This session walks you through ways to make content strategy decisions, helping you create a framework that not only helps you make great decisions. It also helps you communicate your decisions in a business context, communicating the value of sound content strategy.


  • Learn how to create a framework for your decisions.
  • Tie goals to theory to evidence to support your decisions.
  • Communicate effectively to support your content strategy.

• 10:15 a.m., Room A

Meerkat and Periscope: Is Live-Streaming Video Legal?

Kerry O'Shea GorgoneKerry O’Shea Gorgone: Apps like Meerkat and Periscope make it easy to live-stream video from any device, but should you? In this session, we’ll consider legal aspects of live-streaming, from copyright to privacy, and cover best practices for keeping your live-streaming broadcast legal.

• 11:30 a.m., Room A

Opening Keynote: Plan to Blow Up! Creating a Digital Strategy for a Successful Media Brand

Stacey FergusonStacey Ferguson: We have never had a more exciting time to be working in media. The possibilities are endless! Whether you’re a company blogger, style blogger, food blogger or parenting blogger, your goal is to design a brand that attracts an audience, creates opportunities for monetization and allows you to step into your greatness.

In this keynote, digital brand strategist, veteran blogger and community leader Stacey Ferguson offers personal strategies and advice for long-term blogger brand success (along with a few examples of what not to do, with the stories to match!).

• 9 a.m., Main Ballroom

Paving the Road to Success: A Marketing Strategy Workshop

David WilsonDavid Wilson: A marketing strategy is an important part of a business plan. Not only does it help you set sales goals, it highlights your story and what differentiates you from your competitors. It also prompts you to think of your target customers and how you can reach them. Companies that have a meaningful written marketing strategy generally outperform those without one.

Marketing Strategist David Wilson brings over two decades of business experience helping companies large and small achieve their goals. Through participants’ interaction and humor, David will help you understand the critical importance of a strategic marketing plan and guide you through the process of developing one. He will also help you develop your company’s “story,” show you how to turn your story into a strategic marketing advantage, and turn that strategy into tactics to grow your business.


  • Organizational Analysis: Your Story (Mission and Vision);
  • External Business Analysis: Product/Service, Target Market, Customer Segmentation;
  • Internal Business Analysis: Business Goals, Conduct SWOT Analysis, Sales Strategy Analysis;
  • Tactical Planning: Social Media, Blogging, Target Customer Behavior Research, Inbound Marketing Tactics, Sales Strategy;
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Social media impact, leads, Sales leads, Sales results.

• 11:30 a.m., Main Ballroom

Telling Good Stories Is Simple … But It’s Not Easy

Taylor RobinsonTaylor Robinson: In a digital world where everything is connected to everything, it’s the connections that are rooted in a relatable narrative that actually “stick.” Want to entice people to give money to your charity? Tell them a good story. Want to get them to buy your thing-a-ma-gig? Tell them a good story. Want to get them to tell other people about your charity that is making thing-a-ma-gigs? Tell them a good story.

No matter what you want people to do, or say, or think, or try, or eat, or download, storytelling is the most powerful tool that you can use to tell anyone about anything.

In this session, learn practical tools for finding those relatable narratives connected to your business. If you’ve got something worth talking about, you will learn to see the stories that already surround your “something.” And, you will understand what your audience wants out of your stories and how to tell them well.

• 11:30 a.m., Room C

Understanding Your Audience’s Content Need

Laura CreekmoreLaura Creekmore: We often say that content strategy starts with the business need, but we should say that your content strategy really starts with your audience. Without an audience, you don’t have a business goal.

This workshop helps you understand your audience’s demand for content — and how to meet that need. If that’s starting to sound a little like UX (user experience), you’re not far off. Learn about the content-focused tools you can use to better understand what your audience needs from you.


  • Find your audiences;
  • Read the signals they’re already sending you;
  • Design content that meets your audience needs;
  • Train a team to create content according to your plan;
  • Sell the strategy to your C-suite.

• 1:45 p.m., Room A


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